Social Media Can’t Spur Innovation Alone

March 16, 2010 at 3:44 PM 1 comment

In my last post I discussed Value Networks. Of course, value networks are not talked about much these days. Scan the marketing blogs today and you’ll find that social networks, not value networks, are the flavor of the month. I’ve got nothing against social networks, but I wonder if Linux would have arrived yet if developers had just been tweeting their ideas.

Facebook and Twitter, the social media poster children, aren’t collaboration tools, so they can’t really create a value network. They are information-enabling tools. The purpose of social networking is to connect. Nothing wrong with that, but to create something complex and valuable, you need to go beyond connecting to collaboration.

I mentioned that the overheard conversation is essential to speeding up innovation. True, you overhear a lot of conversing on Facebook and Twitter, but to really collaborate, you need a tool that can organize conversations into a coherent threaded structure. Complex problems require a lot of people to know where they are in a conversation, and what’s gone before. Jive and Central Desktop are examples of collaboration platforms that do this, and there are others as well.

The upshot – to find out what people are chattering about, monitor social media. To innovate faster, get those conversations threaded up.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Mark Chidwick  |  May 18, 2011 at 7:44 AM

    Great article. Insightful and right on the money. At Purus we have developed a collaboration decision management platform that addresses exactly this issue, organizing unstructured “chatter” into actionable business decisions. We feel that in order to do this, you need
    – a space in which to collaborate
    – people – ability to find and build your team
    – evidence – structured, unstructured data as well as precedents
    – deliberation – structure to the conversation
    – process – who is going to do what and when
    – decision assets – what did the collaboration lead to, what business value did we derive, what did we decide

    Thanks for the great article


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Thompson Morrison

Thompson Morrison

About Thompson

As CEO of FUSE Insight, Thompson Morrison uses powerful new web interviewing technologies to help businesses better align their brand with the needs and aspirations of their customers. Learn more at


"The single most significant strategic strength that an organization can have is not a good strategic plan, but a commitment to strategic listening on the part of every member of the organization." -- Tom Peters



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